If an employer knows, or reasonably should know, that a driver is disqualified, it must not allow the disqualified driver to operate a CMV. See 49 CFR 383.37. The disqualification period of a driver is determined by the offense and the driver’s record of prior convictions. There are separate disqualification tables for the following types of offenses in 49 CFR 383.51: major offenses, serious offenses, railroad-highway grade crossing offenses, and violations of out-of-service orders. Major and serious offenses require driver disqualification even if the CDL holder is driving a non-CMV.
Major offenses require a minimum disqualification of one year and include the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol as prescribed by State law.
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Having an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater while operating a CMV.
- Refusing to take an alcohol test as required by implied consent laws or regulations.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using the vehicle to commit a felony.
- Driving a CMV while revoked, suspended, canceled or disqualified as a result of prior violations committed while operating a CMV.
- Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV.
- Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of a controlled substance (mandatory lifetime disqualification).
Serious offenses require a minimum disqualification of 60 days and include the following:
- Speeding excessively (15 mph or more over the speed limit).
- Driving recklessly.
- Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes.
- Following the vehicle ahead too closely.
- Violating State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with a fatal accident.
- Driving a CMV without obtaining a CLP or CDL or without a CLP or CDL in the driver’s possession.
- Driving a CMV without the proper class license and/or endorsements.
- Violating laws relating to prohibiting texting or using a handheld mobile telephone while driving a CMV.
See 49 CFR 383.51 for a list of all offenses and disqualifying periods for drivers convicted of an offense.